Step Away to Step into Life

So, it’s been kind of a long road, but it was a good journey altogether.
— Sidney Poitier

I have two clients that are a block away from each other in NYC. The walking time between them is measured in seconds and often I can schedule things to allow me to go from one to the other in short order.

But there are times when I have to schedule them on different days, which would be less of an issue if I didn’t live an hour away from them.

This past week, I took things to a new level. I visited one client on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday. In between, I flew down to Florida for an early morning talk to over 300 leaders. Including local commutes to and from the airport, my journey from one client to the other, though themselves separated by only one block, exceeded 1900 miles.

Talk about a long walk down the block!

This trip reminded me of the fact that sometimes our biggest, most difficult journeys are over small distances that seem to span miles. Maybe it’s a strained relationship at home or at work where, despite physical closeness and easy access to conversation, we seem so far away from those around us. Perhaps the issue is with ourselves, where we cannot access a solution or find a pathway forward despite knowing ourselves better than anyone else.

But because we live our lives the same way, day after day, we fail to see that we can live that much more fully, with greater joy and conviction, than we presently are.

In the heat of the moment it can be hard to become reflective and consider different ways of thinking and acting. Sometimes, the best way to bridge the gap that divides us from our better selves and a more fulfilling life is to step away and take a 30,000-foot view of things.

Here are some questions to consider asking yourself from time to time:

  • How are my relationships with those that I most care about? What would make them even better? What’s holding me back from enjoying them more?
  • What self-doubts and inner gremlins are preventing me from maximizing my potential?
  • Is there enough balance between my work and life outside of work? How can I keep from burning the candle at both ends?
  • How does my vantage point of the world and the people around me affect my relationships and general sense of happiness?

It has been said that, “If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always got.” Sometimes, the best way to succeed in life is to take a step back (or a trip away) to reflect and ask the hard questions that can push us to achieve more and live more fully.

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